"ULTRAJECTUM (as the Romans called it)" Top 5 Page for this destination Utrecht by pieter_jan_v
Utrecht Travel Guide: 633 reviews and 1,541 photos
Utrecht started as a Roman fortress in 50 AC at the bank of the Rhine river. The simple wooden and earth fortification was part of the so called Limes, the boundary of the Roman Empire. The limes now are being displayed in the Utrecht pavement at a number of streets.
Till 270 AC the settlement was rebuild and strengthed a number of times. After the Romans retreated the Frisians and the Franks had many battles over the control of the Trecht stronghold.
In 690 the Anglo-Saksian missionary and bishop Willibrord came to Utrecht and grounded a religeous centre and started the construction af two churches. In later centuries these became the Dom church, the St. Salvator church with in between the chapel of the Holy Cross.
From the seventh century Catholic bishops controlled Utrecht, a number of times interrupted by invading Vikings.
From the tenth century the bishop power increased and he ruled as a King over the area called Het Sticht. Craftsmen and traders grew in numbers and Utrecht became an economical important place.
In the eleventh century three more churches and a abby were builded and two palaces were constructed.
Utrecht got its town right at June 2, 1122 with a confirmation by Emperor Hendrik V. Utrecht now became a real town with more rights and power for its inhabitants. The construction of a city wall started.
During the Middle Ages Utrecht became less powerful by influence of the neighbouring Holland and Gelre. In the city people were in favor for one of these , so there was much rivalry. Six cityfires made things worse.
In 1304 the craftmen, organised in their "Gildes", gained more power in the the local government. They did so for 200 years in which the DOM tower construction was started.
In the sixteenth century Utrecht was the biggest city of the Northern Netherlands and as such had most power in the "Staten", the government of the Netherlands.
For the next 150 years Utrecht was home to painters like Jan van Scorel.
Till the nineteenth century power shifted a couple of times, influences by Spanish and French occupations. The University of Utrecht was founded and opened at March 26,1636.
Utrecht grew as a central Dutch city with the most important railroad connection point of the country.
Nowadays 300.000 people live in the town and twice the number in the surrounding area.
- Pros:Walkable and interesting center
- Cons:Crowded and busy intersection of highways and railroads
- In a nutshell:Center of the Netherlands
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Written Feb 24, 2005
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SINTERKLAAS VT-meeting December 5, 2012 part 2
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